It used to be that people were drawn downtown for the experience. Department stores like Sibley's had a way of getting people to the store and then as long as they were there, they'd buy.
The rise of suburban malls ended it for the department stores. Then came the big box stores.
Now, there's this growing trend of shopping and buying online and having the items shipped to the store for free. The stores now compete with one another with regard to price, online experience, and in-store pick-up experience.
We need to accept the changing nature of shopping. Years ago, Sibley's was at the core of our city's hustle and bustle. The Sibley Building still stands, but Sibley's is long gone. How does turning a former shopping district into superfluous office space revitalize a city? How do poorer city neighborhoods benefit?
Many Wegmans employees live in the city and work in Gates, Chili, or Pittsford. They probably do most of their grocery shopping at a store other than Wegmans. Who are we to question Wegmans business model? They're helping the City of Rochester by providing jobs for it's residents. What more should we be asking for?
Too bad College Town wasn't built on pontoons so we could put it up for sale and just float it away. Just kidding.
Seriously though, It sounds like College Town does well when parents and alumni visit, but that's about it.
College Town seems too expensive to attract the kind of diverse crowds that would really get things humming. Wouldn't a real corner store with cold beer, hot buffet food, fanatical customer service, and LOW PRICES do really well there?
It's unfortunate that high rents are preventing College Town from becoming great.
Rochester continues it's quest for renowned bike friendliness. A wildly popular bike-share network would go a long way to show other cities that we mean business when it comes to quality of life for our residents. But, if we do this, it's got to be done right.
I hate to say this, but since we're not downtown Manhattan, there must be no yearly, monthly or mileage fees for users. Of course, smart-phones and credit cards would be necessary to ensure bicycle accountability. But, in order to get the high volumes of riders that would make other cities envious, the system would have to be free for responsible bike sharers.
As displeasing as it would be to many, combined taxpayer subsidies plus sponsorships would inevitably have to pay for a successful bike-share system. But, if we want the reputation as the city doing the most to become the most bike friendly, well, there's a cost for that.
The problem with these "studies" is that the conclusions always support the interests of the paying clients.
The "substantial bump in tax revenue" is money talking. It's a bribe.
You know, sometimes people feel better after someone tells it like it is. Our country continues to deeply need the catharses that Trump and Sanders have been providing.
In trying to figure out why Trump is running for president, I'm reminded of this Seinfeld quote:
"Why couldn't you make me an architect? You know I always wanted to pretend that I was an architect."
- George, in "The Marine Biologist"
Thankfully, there have been very few massive loudspeaker events in the park across the street from where I live. A city park should be for people to enjoy nature while still respecting the rights of nearby residents.
We should make sure we get the most bang for the buck from this space. A park requires tree-trimming and grass-cutting and it ain't free. Something needs to be built on this space that will provide tax revenue for the city. Whoever builds here should allocate enough green space so at least some of their workers have a nice place to enjoy their lunches outside.
In the end, it's all about consideration; for the employees, the taxpayers, and especially for the downtown residents who didn't move there to be able to lift up the window for a free concert.
Frequent air travel was a requirement for a previous job of mine. I can assure you that it all gets old fast. The restaurant and fast food, the motels, the rental cars, the airports, and the airplanes all start to look the same after a while.
Oftentimes, I had to walk very fast or even run to make a connecting flight. At other times, I would have to wait for hours. I've never been to Detroit other than the several hours I spent waiting for a connecting flight. I cannot remember anything that was on display there. I did get a flavor for the city by looking out the window and listening in on conversations, but nothing in particular stands out.
If there's art, there's this perception of wealth. Observing people and the sights makes for a more authentic taste sample of a city.
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